What’s in a (Domain) Name?

Just over three years ago, I deleted my Facebook account and promised my friends (and “friends”) that I’d keep posting the same sorts of updates here, on the flagship vanity domain for my name. Meanwhile, I would put my work-related postings on a separate blog on my old dovdox.com domain, for people who only wanted to read my science blogging.

I failed.

The problem was my old domain name, dovdox.com. I’d originally bought it as a site for both me (Alan Dove, Ph.D.) and my wife (Laura Dove, M.D.). The Dove Docs. Get it? It was a great domain for that imagined purpose, but it turned out that Laura didn’t really have a use for her own site, and besides testing the occasional bit of server software my only real use for it was blogging. Dovdox makes a lot less sense as a science blog title. I eventually redirected incoming dovdox.com traffic here, and this became my only blog.

That didn’t really work either. People who want to read my science writing are interested in science, not what I get up to in my spare time. Friends and family members want more pictures of my kid. I need two separate sites, each designed from the domain up for a specific audience.

So here’s the new arrangement. This site is now my personal page. It’s about me, my rambling thoughts, my family, my friends, and the things we do – at least the parts I feel like publishing. A feed from my new science blog will also provide links to whatever I post there, so this site will have the whole stream of my online output. It’s my version of a Facebook wall. Incidentally, if everyone had a personal blog, we could all just subscribe to each others’ RSS feeds and watch Facebook die. Think about it.

My new science blog is The Turbid Plaque. It’ll be about science, science journalism, and science policy. If you’re here for the science – or you’re just curious about how I arrived at that title – pop on over there.

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